[Poet] Biographies & Profiles

Julio Cortázar

Julio Cortázar was an Argentine novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator who is known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom. He is considered innovative, original, and a master of poetic prose and short story writing, having created works that broke classical molds through narratives that escaped temporal linearity. After his childhood and adolescent years in Argentina, Cortázar moved to Europe in the 1950s and settled in France for over three decades, composing some of his works there.

Artur Lundkvist

Poet, Writer

Bo Bergman

Poet, Writer

Erik Lindegren

Poet, Writer

Suleiman The Magnificent

Poet, Legislator

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was an American memoirist, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director and producer. She rose to international fame with the publication of her debut autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which focused on her childhood and young adult experiences. Her works were widely used in classrooms and she was a respected spokesperson for both black people and women. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and had worked with leading figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. In 1993, she made history by being the first person to recite poetry at a presidential inauguration since Robert Frost in 1961.

Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Crown Prince of Dubai, having held the position since 2008. He was previously Deputy Ruler of Dubai from 2006 to 2008, and is widely known by his moniker Fazza, which translates to "the one who helps" in Arabic. He is also a champion equestrian, having won multiple titles at the World Equestrian Games.

Ivan Kotliarevsky

Poet, Writer, Playwright

Diana Vickers

Diana Vickers is an English singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer. She first gained public attention as a semi-finalist on The X Factor in 2008, and subsequently released the number one single "Once" and number one album Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree. Her follow-up singles and second album Music to Make Boys Cry also achieved success. Vickers debuted her own fashion line in 2011 and has since made her film and television acting debuts.

Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones is a renowned American record producer, musician, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer who has spanned 70 years in the entertainment industry, with 80 Grammy Award nominations, 28 Grammys, an Academy Award nomination, and a Grammy Legend Award. He is well known for producing pop hit records for Lesley Gore, collaborating with jazz artists Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, and creating three of popstar Michael Jackson's most successful albums. Jones was also the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award, and the first to be the musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards. Additionally, he has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and is one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian is an Armenian-American singer, musician, songwriter, political activist and entrepreneur best known as the lead vocalist, primary lyricist, keyboardist, and occasional rhythm guitarist of heavy metal band System of a Down. He has released five albums with the band, five solo albums, and collaborated with other musicians. Tankian is also the founder of the record label Serjical Strike Records and is highly regarded for his unusual vocal delivery and wide vocal range of 4.2 octaves. In addition to his music career, Tankian co-founded the non-profit political activism organization Axis of Justice alongside guitarist Tom Morello, and was awarded the Prime Minister's Medal for his contributions to the recognition of the Armenian genocide and the advancement of music.

Emilie Autumn

Emilie Autumn Liddell is an American singer-songwriter, violinist, poet and author, known for her musical style "Fairy Pop", "Fantasy Rock" or "Victoriandustrial", which is influenced by glam rock and plays, novels and history from the Victorian era. Growing up in Malibu, California, Autumn began learning the violin at age four and left regular school to become a world-class violinist; she released her first classical album On a Day: Music for Violin & Continuo in 1997, followed by Enchant in 2003. She has released several albums, including Opheliac (2006), Laced/Unlaced (2007) and Fight Like a Girl (2012). In addition, she has toured with Courtney Love and appeared in Darren Lynn Bousman's films The Devil's Carnival (2012) and Alleluia! The Devl's Carnival (2015).

Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli Greene is an American rapper who rose to prominence in 1997 when he and fellow Brooklyn rapper Mos Def formed the group Black Star. He has since gone on to achieve success with acclaimed solo collaborations with producers and rappers such as Kanye West, Just Blaze and Pharrell Williams, and released his most recent album Gotham in 2020. In 2011, Kweli founded his own independent record label, Javotti Media.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was an Indian aerospace scientist, statesmen, and the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. Over the course of four decades, he worked with the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Indian Space Research Organisation, and was integral India's civilian space programme and military missile development efforts, earning him the nickname the Missile Man of India. He also played a large role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. During his time as president, he earned the moniker "People's President" because of his immense popularity with the public. Following his death in 2015 at age 83 due to cardiac arrest, thousands attended his funeral in his hometown of Rameswaram, where he was buried with full state honours.


Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was the fifth Roman emperor and the final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 until his death in AD 68. Nero, born in 37 A.D., was adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and succeeded him on the throne. He was initially supported by the Roman Senate and Praetorian Guard, with some Roman sources claiming he was popular with lower-class citizens and debased with aristocrats due to his self-indulgence and tyrannical behavior. During his reign, he made contributions to Rome's governance through diplomacy, trade, and culture, as well as expanding the empire by annexing the Bosporan Kingdom and fighting the Roman–Parthian War. He was eventually declared a public enemy and condemned to death, fleeing Rome and committing suicide. Nero is often remembered for his controversial acts such as his alleged instigation of the Great Fire of Rome and persecution of Christians, though some modern historians doubt the reliability of such claims.

J. R. R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE FRSL was an English writer, philologist, professor, and close friend of C.S. Lewis. He is best known for his high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which, alongside his son Christopher's posthumous works, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about the fantasy world of Arda and Middle-earth. For this reason, he has been dubbed "the father of modern fantasy literature" and his success has led to a resurgence of the genre. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972.

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden was a Saudi Arabian-born Islamist militant who was the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and founder of the terrorist group al-Qaeda. He was a member of the wealthy Bin Laden family, and was known for funneling arms, money, and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan for the Mujahideen in their fight against the Soviet Union. Bin Laden declared war on the United States and launched a flight of bombings and related attacks, becoming a wanted man and the subject of a decade-long international manhunt with a $25million bounty on his head. Ultimately, he was killed by U.S. special operations forces in 2011 and is widely reviled in the United States and much of the world, but was popular in the Islamic World for his war against the U.S.

Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, and visual artist who is considered a philosopher although he himself rejected the title. He is best known for writing The Prophet, which has become one of the best-selling books of all time. After immigrating with his mother and siblings to the United States in 1895, he returned to Lebanon for schooling, then settled in New York in 1911. During this time, he corresponded with Syrian political thinkers and published The Madman in English in 1918. Additionally, his visual artwork was shown in galleries in Boston and New York and he re-founded the Pen League with fellow Mahjari poets in 1920. His writings explore diverse literary forms and his paintings are described as expressing his personal vision with spiritual and mythological symbolism. Gibran is still celebrated as a literary hero in Lebanon and is remembered for his "prodigious body of work," an artistic legacy to people of all nations.

Thomas Hamilton (writer)

Thomas Hamilton FRSE was a Scottish soldier and author.

Sarah Williams

Poet, Novelist, Writer

Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens was an American modernist poet and Pulitzer Prize winning author from Reading, Pennsylvania. He was educated at Harvard and New York Law School and worked mostly as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. His writing came in three distinct periods, beginning in 1923 with the publication of Harmonium and ending with the release of his Collected Poems in 1954. His best known works include "The Auroras of Autumn," "Anecdote of the Jar," "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock," "The Emperor of Ice-Cream," "The Idea of Order at Key West," "Sunday Morning," "The Snow Man," and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."

Countee Cullen

Countee Cullen was a renowned poet and playwright who gained much attention during the Harlem Renaissance. He was the first African American poet to win the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 1925. He wrote numerous books, poems and plays that focus on the plight of African Americans in society. Cullen was praised by many of his peers and is considered one of the most influential figures of the Harlem Renaissance. He used his platform to express the struggles of African Americans during that time and to draw attention to the racism Black people face. His work continues to inspire writers and artists today. Cullen was an influential figure in the fight for equal rights for African Americans and his legacy lives on.

Hermann Löns

Hermann Löns was a German journalist and writer, who earned the moniker "The Poet of the Heath" for his novels and poems celebrating North German moors, particularly the Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony. Beyond being a writer, Löns was also a hunter, natural historian and conservationist, as well as a maker of famous folksongs. Despite being past enlistment age during World War I, he enlisted and was tragically killed; his purported remains were later used by the German government for celebratory purposes.

Ian Hamilton (critic)

Poet, Author, Writer

Juha Vainio

Juha Harri "Junnu" Vainio, also known as Juha "Watt" Vainio, was a prolific Finnish lyricist, singer, composer and teacher. He wrote or composed the lyrics and music of over 2,400 songs, making him one of the most popular in the country alongside Sauvo Puhtila, Reino Helismaa and Vexi Salmi. He had a brief stint as a teacher in Kymenranta Primary School. Throughout his life, Vainio lived in Kotka, Helsinki, Espoo and his last years in Gryon, Switzerland. He passed away due to a heart attack in October 1990 and was buried in Helsinki. He was given the moniker "Watt" for his first solo record in 1964, Paras rautalankayhtye. The nickname was always used with "Juha Watt Vainio".

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an influential English poet, literary critic, philosopher and theologian who, together with his friend William Wordsworth, founded the Romantic Movement in England. He wrote famous poems such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as Biographia Literaria, a major prose work. His criticism on William Shakespeare had a major impact, and he assisted in introducing German idealist philosophy to English culture. Coleridge's own writing style was also very influential, having coined popular phrases like "suspension of disbelief". He helped shape Ralph Waldo Emerson's ideas, and thus contributed to American transcendentalism. Throughout his life Coleridge suffered from bouts of anxiety, depression and physical illness: it has been suggested that he had bipolar disorder, for which he was treated with laudanum, resulting in a lifelong opium addiction.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley was an influential Romantic poet who, despite not achieving fame during his lifetime, went on to become an important influence on poets of subsequent generations. His poetry and political and ethical writings appealed to radical political circles in the 1820s, and his works have since been praised by figures such as Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, and George Bernard Shaw. He is remembered for a number of works including "Ozymandias", "Ode to the West Wind", "To a Skylark", and "Prometheus Unbound". His second wife Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and Shelley died in a boating accident in 1822 at the age of 29.

George Moore (novelist)

George Augustus Moore was an Irish novelist, poet, art critic, dramatist and memoirist from a Roman Catholic landed family originally from Moore Hall in Carra, County Mayo. He studied art in Paris during the 1870s and befriended many of the leading French artists and writers of the day, absorbing the lessons of the French realists and being particularly influenced by Émile Zola. Moore's work has been seen as outside the mainstream of both Irish and British literature, but Richard Ellmann considered him to be the first great modern Irish novelist and James Joyce was also heavily influenced by him.

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was an American children's author and cartoonist who published over 60 books under his pen name. His work includes classics like If I Ran the Zoo, The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Green Eggs and Ham, and Oh, the Places You'll Go! which have sold over 600 million copies and been translated into more than 20 languages. He also worked as an illustrator for various publications and advertising campaigns, and during World War II, he wrote, produced, or animated numerous productions for the United States Army. As a result of his work, Geisel won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award twice, the Regina Medal award from the Catholic Library Association, and two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Special and Outstanding Animated Program. March 2, his birthday, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day.

André Breton

Andre Robert Breton was a French writer, poet, and leader of the renowned Surrealist movement. He is best known for his 1924 manifesto which defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism" and his acclaimed books such as Nadja and L'Amour fou. Through his works, Breton became a major influence in twentieth-century French art and literature.

Djuna Barnes

Djuna Barnes was an American artist, journalist and writer who is largely remembered for her influential modernist novel "Nightwood" which is considered a cult classic of lesbian fiction. Her career began in 1913 as an illustrator and freelance journalist for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Over the next few years her work was featured in the city's leading periodicals and she eventually published the illustrated volume of poetry, "The Book of Repulsive Women". 1921 saw Barnes move to Paris with a lucrative commission from McCall's and it was here that she produced her collections of poetry, plays and stories known as "A Book". During the 1930s she traveled extensively through Europe, Africa and New York, culminating in the publication of "Nightwood" in 1939. She continued to work throughout the following decades and published her last major work, the verse play "The Antiphon", in 1958 before passing away in 1982.

Derek Walcott

Sir Derek Alton Walcott was a prominent Saint Lucian poet and playwright, best known for his Homeric epic poem Omeros, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. He also received a number of other honors throughout his career, including an Obie Award, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, the Queen's Medal for Poetry, the inaugural OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the 2010 T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Griffin Trust For Excellence in Poetry Lifetime Recognition Award in 2015.

Dave Alvin

David Albert Alvin is a renowned American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. He was a founding member of the successful roots rock band the Blasters, and has since then been involved with many side projects and collaborations. Additionally, Alvin has had short stints as a member of bands X and the Knitters.

Álvaro Pombo

Poet, Writer, Politician

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